Topic: William M. Ferraro

Dutiful or Loving Son?: Reflecting on George Washington’s Relationship with His Mother, Mary Ball Washington

By William M. Ferraro, Associate Editor
February 11, 2016


A corner view of Mary Ball Washington’s final home.

My trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia, in November 2015 to see George Washington’s boyhood home at what is now known as Ferry Farm also allowed me to visit the house in town where George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, lived the final 17 years of her life. Born in 1708, married to the widower Augustine Washington in 1731, and widowed in 1743, Mary Washington never remarried. Until pressured to change by her children (sons George, Sam, John, and Charles, and daughter, Betty, who had married the prosperous Fredericksburg merchant Fielding Lewis), Mary Washington managed Ferry Farm on her own with the help of slaves. Apparently reluctant to move from the farm, she grudgingly agreed only at George’s insistence.

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Three-Dimensional Insights at George Washington’s Boyhood Home


The historical marker for Ferry’s Farm

By William M. Ferraro, Associate Editor
November 20, 2015

Having shepherded “George Washington, Day-By-Day, 22 February 1732-14 December 1799” into existence as a website featuring information on Washington’s daily whereabouts and activities, and eager to learn more about his early life when documentary evidence is scant at best, I very much looked forward to visiting Washington’s childhood home bordering the Rappahannock River directly across from Fredericksburg, Virginia. This visit finally occurred on Monday, November 9, as a prelude to my attendance at a lecture on James Monroe as a military commander that evening (the immediate reason for my trip from Charlottesville). Continue reading

On the Set with Associate Editor William M. Ferraro: An Interview About his Role in the Film Monroe Hill

October 9, 2015

Associate Editor William M. Ferraro will soon be featured as an historical contributor in a documentary about James Monroe’s farm home Monroe Hill. Director Eduardo Montes-Bradley‘s film Monroe Hill overviews the trials James Monroe faced in running the unproductive plantation, in following his political obligations, and in strengthening a new nation. Continue reading